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A great teacher

This past Christmas morning Carol opened a gift and found a framed print of this photograph. It is one she made in August of 1988, but had never seen it before now.

During the years I worked at LifeWay, many assignments took me to Ridgecrest, North Carolina. My family made most trips with me, and for us it was far more than a conference center. Most days, squeezed between the assignments of the day and night, we went on hikes, explored the shops and eateries in Black Mountain, or relaxed together on campus. Ridgecrest plays a significant role in our family's history.

Jim and kids at RidgecrestAs I think back on the work done over those years, it's interesting that I was never the typical conference attendee. My job was to tell the visual story of particular events in the surroundings provided by Ridgecrest. My familiarity with this place runs deep. Much of my time there was spent in search of new ways to present a very familiar scene. The quest for the compelling perspective and moment made it forever challenging and exciting.

Between family and coverage time, the average week at Ridgecrest was always very full. And of course, when I returned to Nashville, the work wasn't quite finished. The photographs then had to be distributed and archived. When at last the assignment was complete, I was already looking forward to going back.

For over a hundred years, events have been held at Ridgecrest that have inspired and given a fresh vision. Our annual BCA workshop, April 9-14, will be here soon, and I hope you are making plans to attend. Program chairs Polly House and Shawn Hendricks have planned an excellent time together. From the moment we arrive we will be given the opportunity to see and consider fresh perspectives and ideas. Of course, it will be fun and at times very relaxing, but it will also be a time of real growth.

The photograph that Carol made was in the midst of many that I had taken while on assignment at Ridgecrest. It took 25 years for me to see it. It's an image that provides a true glimpse of our children. Justin, always solid as a rock, is calm and relaxed. Nathan, the adventurer, is ready to climb the next mountain, literally. And Erin is forever curious about the possibilities, and never afraid to ask.

So, why did it take so long for me to notice this image? Time is a great teacher.

POSTED: Jan 20, 2014 | Jim Veneman - jimveneman@gmail.com

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